Concordia University

Our distinguished graduates

George Tsaprailis

George Tsaprailis    PhD in Chemistry (1997)

Director, University of Arizona Cancer Center Proteomics Shared Resource; Staff Scientist, Arizona Research Labs; Assistant Research Scientist, BIO5 Institute; Arizona, USA

My interest in LC-MS/MS technology began during my PhD studies with Professor Ann English at Concordia which focused on deciphering protein modifications caused by oxidative stress. I was also employed by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to set up and run CBAMS’ first mass spectrometer. This valuable experience furthered my passion for MS and led me to postdoctoral studies at the University of Arizona where I have remained as a Staff Scientist. Here, I have helped to build campus-wide proteomics and mass spectrometry capabilities and have fostered working relationships with leaders in this area in the academic and private sectors as Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center Proteomics Shared Resource. I also oversee the daily operations of the Analytical Mass Spectrometry Core Lab and supervise its five employees.

Kevork Mekhssian

Kevork Mekhssian    MSc in Chemistry (2002)

Principal Scientist, LC-MS Method Development, Bioanalytical Services Department, Algorithme Pharma, Montreal, Canada

My first introduction to the world of mass spectrometry was during my graduate studies at Concordia. The training and experience I acquired at CBAMS was crucial not only for my thesis project but also for getting my first job in industry. Before joining Algorithme Pharma in 2013, I managed the biological mass spectrometry lab at Boehringer Ingelheim’s virology research center, where we used high resolution mass spectrometry to characterize recombinant proteins by LC-MS/MS and MALDI-TOF techniques. Currently, at Algorithme Pharma, I am responsible for the development of analytical methods for the bioanalysis of biotherapeutics by LC-MS.

Andrea Romeo

Andrea A. Romeo    PhD in Chemistry (2003)

Laboratory Head, Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland

I am very interested in mass spectrometry and I have been using this fascinating technology for my work in drug discovery. I was privileged to have the opportunity to use some of the LC-MS systems in CBAMS for my research during my PhD at Concordia. Furthermore, I had an excellent experience collaborating with CBAMS during the time I was working at Aegera Therapeutics / Pharmascience in Montreal (2003-2013) when I needed to use high-resolution MS for metabolite structure elucidation.

Limei Tao

Limei Tao    PhD in Chemistry (2004)

Scientist,  Manager,  DMPK-Bioanalysis  Department,   Paraza  Pharma  Inc., Montreal,  Canada

Since graduating from Concordia as a PhD student, under the direction of Dr. Ann English, I have been working in the pharmaceutical industry and the National Research Council for 12 years in positions ranging from Research Scientist to Manager of the Bioanalysis Group. Mass spectrometry has been my primary analytical tool throughout my successful career. Through the knowledge, the hands-on experience and the training I obtained from CBAMS I have been able to assist other scientists establish mass spectrometry labs, and to solve complex scientific problems in the development of new drugs for unmet needs.

Biao Shen

Biao Shen    MSc in Chemistry (2007)

Scientist, Manager, Analytical Chemistry, Preclinical Department, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., New York, USA

I gained extensive experiences in mass spectrometry during my work and study at CBAMS from 2001 to 2007. I currently work on protein characterization and investigation using LC/MS methods to support our drug candidate development from early to late stages. We are using various MS instruments, including Waters Synapt G1 QToF MS, Xevo G2 ToF/G2S QToF MS, Vion IMS QToF; Thermo LTQ OrbiTrap Velos, Q-Exactive, Q-Exactive Plus, Q-Exactive Plus HF, Q-Exactive EMR; Agilent 6495 QQQ MS; and ABSciex Triple-ToF.

Peter Kojo Quashie

Peter Kojo Quashie    MSc in Biology (2010)

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

During my MSc at Concordia University, I was fortunate to gain valuable expertise in a number of protein characterization techniques including extensive experience in mass spectrometry courtesy of CBAMS and the helpful technical staff. This toolbox in protein analysis has helped me considerably during my PhD studies at McGill focussed on bacterial and HIV proteins and the mechanism of drug resistance. I am now furthering these studies as a structural virologist funded by a Banting Fellowship at the University of Toronto.

Simon Bourque

Simon Bourque    PhD in Biology (2011)

Senior  Scientist,  Mass  Spectrometry,  Caprion  Biosciences  Inc.,  Montreal, Canada

My day-to-day work is in R&D developing methods on the cutting edge of clinical and biopharma proteomics. From well-established discovery proteomics for biomarkers to MRM-based absolute quantitation for pharmacokinetic-type studies to intact mass analysis of stability and bio-distribution, I am responsible for the development of a wide variety of R&D studies supporting our customers’ needs. The hands on training and instrument access at CBAMS is a large part of the reason I am where I am, physical access to the instrumentation, as opposed to a core centre, gave me the experience and training that allowed me to find a place in biopharma R&D.

Francis McManus

Francis McManus    PhD in Chemistry (2013)

Research Officer, the Center for Advanced Proteomics Analyses, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

The training and exposure to mass spectrometry that I acquired through my work in CBAMS broadened my scientific experience. It is through this exposure that I realized the true unparalleled power of mass spectrometry and its bright future in the field of science. As a result, after my PhD, I opted to do a postdoc in mass spectrometry. My experience in CBAMS gave me a solid foundation on which to build my expertise. At the time, CBAMS had the cutting edge power of the most powerful commercially available mass spectrometer, the Orbitrap Velos ETD. Therefore I had training on one of the best instruments, increasing my value as a scientist.

Dorival Martins

Dorival Martins    PhD in Biochemistry (2014)

Postdoctoral  Fellow,   McGill  University  Health  Centre,   Montreal,                   Canada

CBAMS was critical for my PhD studies providing me with a unique opportunity for extensive hands-on training on a comprehensive suite of mass spectrometers including MALDI-TOF, ESI-QTOF, Ion Trap, Orbitrap Velos and ICP-MS. I was able to carry out top notch experiments for identification of post-translational modifications in proteins of eukaryotic cells both in in vitro and in vivo systems, as well as to quantify metal contents in subcellular fractions of aging yeast. CBAMS’ technology brought my research in redox biology, cell aging and signaling to the highest level as exemplified by co-authorship on a number of publications in premiere biochemistry and biology journals such as Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, Redox Biology, and PNAS. The training at CBAMS made me realize the power of mass spectrometry to analyze biologically relevant questions in high-level detail, well prepared for my Post-Doctoral work at the Meakins-Christie Labs in the McGill University Health Centre. Here, I am focussed on medically targeted projects for studying the roles of reactive oxygen species and stress responses on antibiotic tolerance. I am using LC/MS and GC/MS-based techniques as complementary approaches to identify global patterns of oxidative modifications in lipids and proteins associated with antibiotic therapies. Moreover, we routinely use MALDI-based techniques for identification of bacterial species derived from clinical settings. Without a doubt the training at CBAMS has given me the knowledge to fully exploit the potential of the different mass spectrometers to aggregate crucial information to the biologically relevant problems I am now addressing in my postdoctoral research.

Vincent Richard

Vincent Richard    PhD in Biology (2014)

Postdoctoral Fellow, the Jewish General Hospital Proteomics Centre, Montreal, Canada

During my PhD study, I was doing shotgun Lipidomics and untargeted Metabolomics (HILIC LC-MS/MS) on the Orbitrap Velos. Since I've started at the Lady Davis Institute, I've been mostly developing multiplexed MRM based targeted quantitative assays for human plasma proteins with an emphasis on cancer biomarkers. I think CBAMS was really unique in that it wasn't just a core facility but rather a reasonably well equipped training centre that offered trainees the opportunity to get extensive hands on experience with mass spectrometry.

Meena Kathiresan

Meena Kathiresan    PhD in Biochemistry (2015)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA

The training I received in mass spectrometry at CBAMS was instrumental in my scientific growth as a PhD student. The Orbitrap Velos was installed at CBAMS during my PhD and I was able to see firsthand the power of high resolution mass spectrometry in answering scientific questions pertaining to cell signaling, protein, lipid and small molecule interactions with high precision, accuracy and reproducibility. More importantly, this technology allowed high throughput samples to be analyzed in a matter of hours which significantly increased my productivity and led to publications in high impact journals such as PNAS and Chemical Science. I truly appreciate the hands on experience I received from CBAMS as well as the ability to interact with the knowledgeable staff. I was able to work directly with the instruments from making my own columns to developing proteomics methodology to answer my specific research questions. I am currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in the field of quantitative mass spectrometry-based cancer proteomics. The tools I learned at CBAMS gave me a solid foundation in proteomics and I am currently applying these tools and expanding this knowledge to understand how the proteome is altered when resistance emerges in response to treatment in individual cancer patients.

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